“Don’t worry, it’s only an old man!”

A passer by invokes a lesson for us all.


Recently while busy in the garden our two dogs started barking. This in itself is not unusual because they sit at the front gate waiting for passers by to stop and talk to them. It can be a horse, or cyclist that sometimes causes them to bark, and our children have grown to show the same awareness as the dogs in who is passing.  I didn’t see the cause this time but our young daughter did.

Don’t worry, Daddy, it’s only an old man!

Stephanie is only 8 years old, but without meaning any harm had given sufficient information to explain the risk to us and paint a quick picture in a few words as to why the dogs were barking.

Of late for some reason I have been more aware of people who are ageing. This generation do not normally stand around telling stories, this is left to the young who always seem to have something to shout about.

However all older people will have many interesting tales, often almost unbelievable, yet true. They have lived through war, happy, sad, interesting, and hard times. Each has learnt about life through experience that we can not buy.

Recently my ex Mother-in-law passed away. I thought I knew her very well, but it wasn’t until family stories started coming out that we all found out there had been much more in the life of this modest lady.

How it should be.

Christmas is coming and probably there will be family gatherings. This year I am going to try and turn the attention to the older generation, and see if they will open up and give us an insight into their childhood days and memories so that we can give them the respect they deserve, ask them to read stories to the children, ask them to tell their own tales.

Oh and the old man? Yes I did see him again, in church at a Remembrance service, and he had some medals under his coat, so did have a story to tell!

By Bob Derham

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